Book Editing

Below are details about my book editing services and ballpark rates for each. I specialize in editing teen/YA fiction, womens fiction, LGBTQIA+ fiction, and memoirs, though Im open to other genres and market segments. I review works in American English and Canadian English. The rates listed below are rough estimates per an average word count of 80,000. If a text is at a very early stage of development and needs extensive work, the rate might be higher. If its at a more polished stage, the rate can run lower. 

Jump to: Editorial Assessment  |  Developmental Edit  |  Copy Editing  |  Proofreading  |  Quick Check

 

Editorial Assessment

Ballpark rate: $800 / 80,000 words

 

This is a single pass of a book manuscript that reviews the big-picture elements. Youll get a five- to seven-page edit letter that outlines the books strengths and weaknesses and suggests ways it can be tightened and improved. Good times to seek an editorial assessment:

  • You need a clear view of the big picture and an evaluation of whether your premise is solid and your execution is efficient and effective.

  • You’re on a second or third draft and have found yourself stuck.

  • You think you’re ready to submit to agents or editors, but you’d like the security of a professional editor’s review before you take the leap.

 

Here’s what you’ll get for your money.

  • A read-through of the full manuscript with attention paid to big-picture elements, including premise, plot, setting, character development, pacing, conflict/tension development, structure, world-building, and voice

  • An analysis of your use of language, including elements like prepositional phrases, adverbs, sentence length, passive vs. active verb phrasing, and more, along with suggestions for ways you can tighten and clarify

  • A flagging of potentially problematic/offensive content (Please note: This is different from a full sensitivity read/authenticity read; this point is just to say that if I notice something that might be unintentionally offensive to any marginalized group I’m aware of, I’ll make a note of it.)

  • An interpretation of your theme based on the big-picture elements noted in the first point, and an assessment of how well those elements work cohesively to imply that theme

  • A five- to seven-page single-spaced edit letter that summarizes the book’s strengths and weaknesses in the above areas and offers suggestions for ways you can improve it

 

After I send you the edit letter, you’re welcome to respond to the feedback, ask questions, and bounce revision ideas off me. I’ll respond to these, and then we’ll figure out the best next step toward reaching your publishing goals.

 

An editorial assessment does not include in-line comments. While it does include one round of questions and answers post-analysis, it does not include a second review of your text after you revise it. (A developmental edit includes both in-line comments and a second review of the text after revision.)

 

If you’re at a very early stage in drafting your book, an editorial assessment can sometimes result in a complete rewrite. If you’re at a later, more polished stage, it can help fine-tune the elements that aren’t yet in harmony so they work in concert with those that are already humming along beautifully.

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Developmental Edit

Ballpark rate: $1,900 / 80,000 words

 

This also reviews big-picture elements, but is a more thorough two-pass edit that includes in-line comments with specific suggestions for each instance of a problem area. After you revise the manuscript based on the edits, I review it again to assess any remaining opportunities to strengthen the story.

Here’s what you’ll get for your money.

  • A read-through of the full manuscript with attention paid to big-picture elements, including premise, plot, setting, character development, pacing, conflict/tension development, structure, world-building, and voice

  • An analysis of your use of language, including elements like prepositional phrases, adverbs, sentence length, passive vs. active verb phrasing, and more, along with suggestions for ways you can tighten and clarify

  • A flagging of potentially problematic/offensive content (Please note: This is different from a full sensitivity read/authenticity read; this point is just to say that if I notice something that might be unintentionally offensive to any marginalized group I’m aware of, I’ll make a note of it.)

  • An interpretation of your theme based on the big-picture elements noted in the first point, and an assessment of how well those elements work cohesively to imply that theme

  • In-line notes about things like consistency, smaller-scale questions, wording suggestions, and reactions to the writing

  • Fact checking

  • A ten- to twelve-page single-spaced editorial letter that:

    • Assesses the big-picture elements noted above

    • Summarizes the book’s major and minor strengths and weaknesses and suggests ways you can improve it

    • Discusses any grammar/usage issues that repeat throughout the manuscript

 

A developmental edit includes two rounds. I’ll review the text and provide my notes to you, then we’ll either email or have a call to discuss any questions you have. Once you’ve made your revisions, I’ll review the updated text and provide a two-page assessment of how effectively the revisions strengthen the work.

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Copy Editing

Ballpark rate: $1,500 / 80,000 words

 

Copy editing and proofreading are frequently confused. Often, when someone says they need their work proofread, they really need a copy editor. Copy editing:

  • Reviews each word and checks spelling, punctuation, grammar, and style

  • Considers word choice, trims and tightens sentences, and reviews syntax

  • Reviews sentences and paragraphs for clarity, conciseness, and consistency while ensuring the author’s tone remains intact

  • Corrects redundancy, passive phrasing, logic flaws and repeated beats

  • Checks facts, such as dates, proper nouns, and historical events

  • Tracks plot, setting, story timeline, and character traits across the work to ensure consistency

  • Reviews for unintentionally offensive or stereotyping language

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Proofreading

Ballpark rate: $1,000 / 80,000 words

 

Proofreading is the final check before publication. It assumes the work has already gone through a comprehensive copy edit. The work is laid out in its final form (page proofs or electronic proofs).

  • Checks spelling, punctuation, and typographical errors, but does not address content issues or writing style

  • Reviews all design elements, including:

    • Spacing of lines, paragraphs, and margins

    • Widows, orphans, word breaks, and line breaks

    • Consistent placement and centering of tables/charts/artwork

    • Page numbers versus table of contents and index

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Quick Check

Ballpark rate: $750 / 80,000 words

 

This is a quick review that catches most problems that could make you look bad, but won’t catch every single issue. This type of review is useful in several scenarios.

  • You’re a first-time author seeking an agent or publisher and want to make sure your work is disaster-free prior to querying.

  • You’re a small press with a limited budget.

  • Your timeline got too crunched to allow for a comprehensive edit.

This check provides:

  • A one-page snapshot of the big-picture elements, such as plot, setting, character development, pacing, conflict/tension development, structure, world-building, and voice

  • An in-line scan for:

    • Spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization

    • Verb tense consistency and pronoun use

    • Spacing and basic formatting

This check does not:

  • Check facts and proper nouns

  • Track details for consistency (though if I spot an inconsistency, I’ll note it)

See something youre interested in?

Contact me. 

 
 
 
 
 

Images © Red Pen Refinery / Jules Hucke, 2020

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